Each Christmas, I enjoy sharing with you all of the homemade gifts and goodies that we are creating around our house.  I love sharing recipes and patterns that I hope will bring a little joy as you prepare for the holidays too!  It is not always easy for me to share my personal feelings in such a public space, but this season I not only  want to share homemade memorial ornaments that are beautiful, but I would like to also share why creating this special remembrance is so deeply personal.

Christmas can be such a tough holiday for those who have lost loved ones.  This Christmas is terribly sad for my family.  My mom passed away a month ago and I am still struggling daily with the reality of her being gone.   In those times when I find myself with a quiet house, I find myself wondering, how could this beautiful amazing woman who impacted so many be gone? She was married to my father for 65 years, and she has left a gaping hole in his life, and in mine. Thankfully, we are left with many good memories, and I am so thankful for the many gifts she gave me. She taught me how to care and love for those around me, and she did this through her living example. I was amazed, but not surprised, to hear how great that impact was when people came and visited us at Hospice.   She touched so many lives.  I tried hard to reassure her that we would all be okay, and that she could rest easy and let go.  I told her that she had trained and loved us all so well (my kind loving brothers an example of this), and that I was beyond thankful she had adopted me and loved me like her very own.  I made sure she knew that because of her love, the beautiful way that she lived her life, and the endless and tireless care that she gave to so many in this world–I will forever be better because of her.  I am strong and faithful, just like her.  I am beyond thankful she taught me my purpose…. to love and care for others.  How lucky I am to have such a mother, and how proud I am to be my mother’s daughter. Through the years and the ups and downs, through happiness and struggles and what seemed like a rollercoaster of life, she was steadfast, determined and graceful. She chose love.

my mom and dad

mom and dad

She quietly cared for many. Truly in her we saw a faithful servant who knew her purpose. My cousins summed her up best.

We are saddened this morning that a true angel has gone to the heavens. Our beloved aunt, Mary Lou Haugh passed away at the age of 84. Mary Lou and her family; husband Ivan, children Dennis, Brad, David and Cindy, were some of the most impactful people in our lives. When my mother, brother and I moved to Topeka at a young and impressionable age, the Haugh family were our only support system. Their love, caring and generosity not only helped us survive, it helped mold my brother and I into who we are today. Mary Lou and her family have been a gift from God. We will be forever grateful to them for making us part of their family. We love you, Mary Lou! You are in a place where you will continue to watch over all of us…… from Todd

Mary and Ivan form some of my earliest memories of what it means to be a family – enduring challenges and celebrating triumphs, always bound by unconditional love. While saddened by Mary’s passing, I’m forever grateful for having had her, and the entire Haugh family, in my life. Peace be with you, Aunt Mary…… from Brian.

I couldn’t think of any better song to have had at her funeral.

He sent her and she heard His call. I know He grabbed her immediately and said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Memorial Ornaments

So how do you remember someone so special at the holidays? I know you too probably have someone special that you would like to remember.  My niece made the most amazing tribute to her grandfather when he passed away.  I can’t think of a better way to honor those that are no longer with us.

memory Christmas ornament

The most important part of this sweet ornament is a piece of important clothing. My family saw my mom wear this nightgown all the time. It is soft and worn and makes me think of her. So in loving memory I am making these memorial Christmas ornaments as memory gift for my family. We will cherish it hanging on our Christmas tree and have a special memory or her.

How to make a memorial ornaments

Download and print the heart template for memorial ornaments. There are two sizes, I used the smaller.  Cut two hearts out of the clothing. Cut a piece of twine, ribbon or cording about 8 inches long.

memorial ornaments tutorial

Baste the hanger on the wrong side of the fabric. This helps keep it in place while sewing. It makes it much easier.

how to make a memorial ornaments

Place wrong sides together and machine stitch all the way around the heart leaving a one inch opening along the the side. Fill the heart with fiberfill and machine stitch closed. This can all be done by hand if desired.

DIY memorial ornaments

If you like the edge of the memory ornament can be embellished by making a blanket stitch with embroidery floss all the way around the heart.

how to make a memory ornament

Here is the sweet poem my niece wrote, change it up for your loved one and attach to your memorial ornaments.

Made from mom’s nightgown by me,
Here is an ornament for your tree.
With love hang this little heart,
So you will never feel apart.

As I sewed this special ornament out of my mom’s nightgown I realized how many hours she spent teaching me to sew. All the patterns and tutorials here on Skip to my Lou wouldn’t be possible without her! What a special legacy she left.

memory ornament

I hope these remembrance ornaments will help you through the Christmas holiday!  Hold all those you love dear close to you and remember those fondly that are no longer with you……and always remember to choose love.

Merry Christmas!

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  1. I only saw this today. I follow your posts and make many of your patterns. I am so sorry for the loss of your mom. A mother is a gift to her family and when they leave us the pain is almost too much to bear. I too had an amazing, selfless, and giving mom. I find that each and every day I pull strength from her and try to live the best life possible, being kind and considerate as she was.

  2. Thank you so much for this idea. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Mom. I also lost my mom last year, six months after my dear husband passed from a very rare disease. I still have many of his shirts and wanted to make something out of them for me and my two granddaughters . Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤️

  3. This so touched my heart. I’m 1 of 9 siblings who lost our mom 11 years ago at 80 and our Dad this year at almost 92. I’ve been searching for a memorial ornament and you have provided me with the greatest option. I have a favorite shirt of each and I may see if I can make your heart idea but with 2 different sides; one side from each shirt. Your mom sounds a lot like mine and I’m so sorry for your loss. Wishing you a fabulous holiday filled with many heartfelt memories of days past. Thank you! Susan

  4. Long distance hug to you. Lost my Mom in June. She was 101 but she has lived with me for the past 15 years and I have always lived either next to her or with her. I thought I was prepared for her passing. I was not.

    God bless you for this idea and give you peace and strength. You know where your Mama is as I do – but even with that heavenly assurance – the pain is still real.
    Sending you love –

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